The most productive workers of today have a hybrid set of abilities both old and new. They need to have the traditional grit and perseverance of the 19th century workforce, while being able to use the latest technology trends to maximize their efforts and work smarter, not harder. This concept especially applies to those seeking entry into the construction industry.
Below, a Fort Lauderdale construction lawyer discusses what he believes to be the essential skills for the 2020 construction workforce. Technological know-how is a must in today’s day and age; however, it’s only one of the many qualities that your construction hires should possess.
With computer and virtual technology becoming more and more ingrained within our society, it’s no surprise that this skill is becoming increasingly important. The construction worker of today has an in-depth knowledge of science and especially engineering. The intensive laborer of the past has made way for more thoughtful workers; critical problem solvers who can make on-the-spot, informed decisions. Some of these decisions may be selecting the best construction materials for the best-fitting functions, or deciding what construction materials coupled with different construction methods, for better or for worse. Some new construction-related positions that tie directly into a STEM education are drone piloting for serveyance, robotics engineers, 3-Dimensional imagery visualizers and assembly technicians.
Technological Adeptness (or a Willingness to Learn)
As stated above, technology is here to stay, and those who don’t incorporate it into their daily workflow will surely be left behind by those who do. In some cases, this skill won’t be learned in the classroom but during an internship or their first few months on the job. The modern construction working must be more than willing to learn new software, apps, devices and techniques as they are developed. Workflow will run much smoother if you have a team of workers that is comfortable with learning how to use newer technology.
In a report entitled “Shaping the Future of Construction: Future Scenarios and Implications for the Industry”, a number of predictions are made about the future of technology in the construction field. Some examples of essential future technological construction skills will be artificial intelligence and machine learning expertise, complex data analysis ability, and the capacity of computer programming and coding. Some of these skills have already been implemented into the field, while others are just breaking the surface of how useful they could be someday. It’s better to be proactive than reactive, so try to find people with these abilities now before you’re scrambling to find them in the future.
Related: Technology Trends in Construction
Thrives in a Team Atmosphere
This is another old-school skill that becomes increasingly important in today’s technologically connected, socially disconnected world. Even if your workforce was extremely overqualified with an amazing work ethic, without teamwork your construction project would implode on itself almost immediately. At the very core of the construction worker’s philosophy is the comradery of being able to perform construction tasks side-by-side, watching each others backs for the perils of the jobsite. Teamwork is essential not only for efficiency but also for the safety of your workers as well. They don’t need to love each other, but they do need to hold each other accountable for work performance and unsafe work practices. If you’ve recently had a workplace accident, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Fort Lauderdale construction attorneys today.
Innovation & Critical Reasoning Skills
This last essential skill is a combination of both old and new construction abilities. Both innovative capabilities and on-the-spot critical reasoning are becoming increasingly important for the future jobsite. For example, someone examining a 3D virtual mockup must have the critical reasoning ability to make necessary adjustments in real time. In order to utilize these technological advances, a combination of innovative ability and critical reasoning must both be present in order to save time, money and efforts.
In addition to these skills being used in a preventative capacity, on-the-spot critical reasoning can also save a life. Someone with this ability will know if something doesn’t look right, maybe a raised platform looks shaky or a ladder isn’t following OSHA guidelines, and will be able to act before it is too late. Speaking of OSHA guidelines, if you’ve recently had a run-in with OSHA, reach out to one of our Fort Lauderdale construction lawyers today!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.